Ed Stewart couldn’t help but grin when a Siberian tiger sprang from cover and charged 27 firefighters of the Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp, before pulling up short at the secure fencing surrounding its massive enclosure. “That’s a good thing,” the president and co-founder of the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) told the alarmed youth. “That means he sized you up and figured he could take you all.” The firefighters who visited the animal sanctuary recently returned from a busy fire season in Southern California and along the coast.
Rosalinda Vint selflessly and tirelessly volunteers her time and energy at Ventura Youth Correctional Facility (VYCF) and beyond. Learn more about one of the institution’s longtime volunteers.
On Jan. 17, Jennifer Johnson, Dainette Bowens, Mia Sandoval and Parole Agent Carolyn Estridge spent two hours visiting with patients undergoing chemotherapy at Doctors Hospital in Modesto. In addition to conversations with the patients, they delivered gift bags packed by youth offenders at the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).
The holiday season at Ventura Youth Correctional Facility (VYCF) was inspirationall, replete with unique and festive activities, moving many to reflect on the spirit of giving and achieving excellence through working with others including family and community stakeholders. During this holiday season the spirit of community among youth trumped divisiveness that sometimes stems from distorted thinking and preconceived notions projected onto others, especially within a correctional setting. The Integrated Behavior Treatment Model supports youth’s development of skills to communicate effectively which in turn builds their self- esteem and facilitates their ability work with others to achieve a common goal.
Headquarters for Santa Inc. may be at the North Pole, but a workshop branch is thriving in Stockton at the N. A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility. It’s here that Division of Juvenile Justice staff and incarcerated youth ― Santa’s helpers ―deliver joy to the community with annual Restorative Justice Holiday Excursions. This year’s festive philanthropy included visits to local middle schools, a Walmart Supercenter, the Stockton Emergency Food Bank and the Stockton Shelter for the Homeless.